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The Local Stay | City guide - Paris
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City guide - Paris, France

Romantic, cheerful, lively and bohemian, Paris is known for its striking architecture, premier fashion, world-class art and delectable food. No wonder it’s one of the world’s most popular travel destinations! Situated along the Seine River, the City of Lights has something for everyone.

Tipping: It is not customary to leave a tip in France, and the service charge is always included on the bill above the line for TVA (European Value Added Tax) by law. While never expected, it has nonetheless become common in the last few years to leave up to a 10% tip for truly exceptional service. If you choose to leave a tip, plan to leave cash after paying your bill, rather than leaving the tip on a credit card.

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  • Airports:
    • Roissy-Charles de Gaulle
    • Orly Airport
  • Time Zone:


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Transportation from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport

RER Train

There are two train stations at the airport: The Charles de Gaulle 1 station services terminals 1 and 3, while Charles de Gaulle 2 - TGV services terminal 2. A free airport shuttle will transport you from any terminal to one of the stations. You can also walk from terminals 2 or 3. Tickets to the city center can be purchased at the stations. (Look for automated machines to skip the lines at the ticket counters.) Your ticket will include a transfer from the RER to the Metro, with unlimited transfers on the Metro as long as you don’t leave the station.

Cost €10 (adults) / €7 (children 4-9) / free (children under 4)
Trip Duration approximately 35 minutes
Hours departs every 10-15 minutes from 5:00 am to 12:00 am daily, including holidays

Shuttles offer the best value for your money, but you must book the service 48 hours prior to your arrival. Once you land and before picking up your baggage, call the shuttle service to be informed of the meeting point within your terminal. After picking up other passengers from other terminals, the shuttle will take you directly to your Paris destination. Drivers speak English, so you should have no trouble.

Cost €22.50 per person for 1 person / €18 per person for 2 / €17 per person for 3 or more
Trip Duration dependant on destination
Hours 24/7

Signs within the airport will lead you to the bus stop, where you can purchase a ticket either at the ticket stand or from the driver once you’ve boarded. The Air France bus, the RATP bus and a night bus will all take you to central Paris, but you will need to take the Metro or a taxi from your stop to your final destination. Air France has two bus lines departing from terminals 1 and 2, one stopping at Place de l' Étoile and Porte Maillot stations, and the other stopping at Paris- Gare de Lyon and Montparnasse stations. The RATP (Roissy) bus departs from all three terminals and stops at Place de l'Opéra next to the American Express office.

Cost Air France Bus: €16.50 Euro (adults) / €8 (children 2-11); RATP Bus: €11
Trip Duration approximately 50 minutes, depending on traffic
Hours Air France Bus 1: departs every 15 minutes from 5:45 am to 11:00 pm
Air France Bus 2: departs every 30 minutes from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm
RATP (Roissy) Bus: departs every 15 minutes from 6:00 am to 10:30 pm
Noctilien Night Bus: departs every hour from 12:00 am to 5:00 am

Upon arrival and after picking up your luggage, follow the signs to "Taxis." You will need to wait in line at the taxi stand, but lines move quickly. We recommend taking a taxi if you are traveling with family or a group of travelers and can split the cost. Taxi drivers are required to charge a fixed rate for trips from the airport. Drivers are no longer allowed to charge fees for luggage or an airport fee, but the taxi may charge an additional fee of €4 for each passenger above the age of four.

Cost €50-55
Trip Duration 45 minutes-2 hours, depending on traffic

Transportation from Orly Airport

B Line

This is your fastest option for getting to the city center. Upon your arrival at the airport, look for signs to the OrlyVal/Airport Shuttle. The train departs from both the Orly South (Orly Sud) and Orly West (Orly Ouest) terminals for Antony station, from which point you will have to transfer to the RER B (blue) line to Paris. Tickets can be purchased from machines at the stations.

Cost €12.50 (adults) / €10.65 (children)
Trip Duration approximately 40 minutes
Hours departs every 4-7 minutes from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm
C Line

The C Line offers a less expensive option, departing from Paris-Orly South and Paris-Orly West stations. In order to get to these stations from the airport, you’ll need to take the bus to Pont de Rungis station.

Cost €6.40 total (€2.50 for the bus ticket + €3.90 for the train ticket)
Trip Duration 35 minutes total (10 minutes by bus + 25 minutes by train)

Air France and RATP buses depart from both terminals and travel to the city center. The Air France bus stop in Paris is located near the Montparnasse and Invalids Metro stations, while the RATP bus stops near the Denfert Rochereau Metro station. The Noctilien Night Bus line 131 also departs from Orly Ouest and Orly Sud terminals.

Cost Air France Bus: €11.50 (adults) / €5.50 (children 2-11); RATP Bus: €7.70; Night Bus: €5.40
Trip Duration approximately 1 hour
Hours Air France & RATP Bus: departs every 20 minutes from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm
Noctilien Night Bus: departs every hour from 12:00 am to 4:00 am

Upon arrival and after picking up your luggage, follow the signs to "Taxis." There are two lines at the taxi stand, one for Paris and one for the suburbs, so make sure you choose the correct one. Taxi drivers are required to charge a fixed rate for trips from the airport. Drivers are no longer allowed to charge fees for luggage or an airport fee, but the taxi may charge an additional fee of €4 for each passenger above the age of four.

Cost €30-35
Trip Duration approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic
Rue Dénoyez

This open-air gallery lets you experience Paris’ street art for free in a distinctly non-touristy atmosphere. The colorful graffiti alongside galleries and bars is located in an area brimming with creativity and populated by young artists and children playing football.

L’Ebauchoir Restaurant

Visit L’Ebauchoir for some true French home cooking. This bistro (a favorite among locals) uses only the highest quality ingredients, serving up sumptuous dishes alongside a great variety of wines. As a haven for foodies and offering great value for the money, L’Ebauchoir fills up fast, so be sure to make a reservation in advance. Visit the restaurant’s website for more information.

Via Chocolat

Chocoholics won’t want to miss this showroom of sweets, displaying a constantly changing selection from the best independent chocolate makers from France and around the world. Pieces are secreted away in drawers, with unique flavors of spices, fruits, flowers and teas. Pick your favorite, and leave with a boxful. (One piece is never enough!) Click here for more information.

The Printemps Terrace

While this famed department store is popular among tourists for designer shopping, most don’t know that the best part of Printemps lies above. The secret is to take the escalator up to the 9th floor, above the home and beauty departments, where you’ll be rewarded with a hidden gem of a rooftop terrace. Enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of Paris while you sip on an espresso. (The cafe’s prices are surprisingly reasonable.)

Rue Mouffetard Market

This large outdoor market offers an authentic taste of Parisian life. Choose from delectable cheeses, fresh seafood, wines and crepes, all reasonably priced. Stock up on snacks and a bottle of wine, and head over to the Luxembourg Gardens nearby for a picnic. Or, stick around on Sundays to enjoy performances by local street musicians and dancers.

Paris is divided into 20 numbered districts or “arrondissements,” each enjoying a distinct personality. Neighborhoods are numbered in a spiral, with lower numbers closer to the center and the 12th through 20th arrondissements located at the city’s outer edges.

Le Marais (3rd/4th)

Restaurants and cafes, unique historic buildings, and attractions such as Hotel de Ville and Centre Pompidou make the central area of Le Marais a favorite. Plus, shopaholics will love its variety of luxury shops, cozy boutiques and bustling markets. Best known for its thriving gay scene and as the historic home to Paris’ Jewish community, Le Marais is a vibrant mix of ages and cultures.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th)

This chic neighborhood is full of terraced cafes, art galleries, couture shops and fine dining restaurants. Tourists flock to the areas lively streets and to attractions such as the Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens.

Champs-Elysées (8th)

Buzzing with action day or night, the Champs-Elysees is a touristy area known for its theaters, historic architecture, cafes and luxury shops. Located close to the Seine, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is perhaps the most posh street in Paris.

Opera/Bourse (9th)

Unfrequented by tourists, the 8th is the perfect arrondissement for experiencing Paris like a local. It’s home to elegant department stores and cultural sites like the Palais Garnier opera house, as well as popular theaters, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Belleville (19th/20th)

Located on Paris’ eastern edge, Belleville’s underground scene is populated by students, artists and immigrants from around the world. Here you’ll find plenty of small businesses and ethnic food at affordable prices. Check it out if you’re looking to experience a different side of the City of Lights.

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